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Archive for the tag “bureaucracy”

AMERICANS ARE HURTING – “CONGRESS COULD CARE LESS”!

After you read this send me a message and tell me how Congress and three vindictive Senators can take a month off when people are suffering. Our Congress is inhumane to keep the Obamacare debacle alive. I hope the voters remember every Democrat and the maverick RINO’s when they come up for re-election.

At the same time I can’t fathom why some news service does not compile a special report of actual facts of how health care costs are destroying working and retired Americans. If you hear younger Americans tell us seniors they are tired of paying for our Medicare they are not informed.

I will share some personal facts of how healthcare is effecting my retirement. I will also share two examples of the plight of two middle aged Americans, one is from my family regarding the insurance debacle. The sad part of this insurance disaster is that Congress and all government employees are exempt from the Obamacare disaster. They could care less as they have more than adequate insurance that we pay for most of their premiums with our taxes.

I retired nearly 24 years ago with one pension for 27 years service with what is now Lockheed-Martin. This provides us with a staggering $221.47 each month and no benefits. Now take a look at what Medicare provides and costs. We each pay $107.00 each month in premiums deducted from our Social Security, now named a Federal Entitlement. This is means tested and many retirees pay much more as they have higher incomes. We also pay for the first $185 of costs as a deductible or $370 total each year.

For the uninformed, Medicare only pays for 80% of medical costs and unless you are rich or a fool you have to buy a supplemental insurance policy to cover the 20%. This requires a policy just like those on Obamacare that is so-called competitive as the rates in each State are not the same. These premiums increase each year as you grow older regardless of your health. Being blessed with my 87th birthday this month and you reach this advanced age there is no competitive advantage to shop around for better rates as you are just too old. Currently the costs for Norma and I to be covered is $399.29 each month and these costs have increased twice in the past six months but who cares?

Bush #2 gave us old people another entitlement called Medicare part “D” for our drugs. This program is also competitive as you buy an insurance policy that has many options, choices and different premiums to chose from. These policies are so confusing my insurance agent for our Medicare refuses to even sell or recommend which insurance provider to buy from. As Norma takes much less prescription medication she has a policy with lower premiums and has a co-pay for her medication. In my case I have higher premiums and only have co-pay if their is no generic yet. Currently our monthly costs for prescribed drugs and premiums is about $210. In addition we take doctor recommended vitamins, aspirin, fish oil, bacteria for my colon and other assorted over the counter medical items. The Instaflex for my knees alone is $39 a month. This will easily average over $75 each month.

Speaking of my knees that are both bone on bone. My family doctor can inject steroids in my left knee every three months. I have to drive 128 miles to my referred Orthopedic Surgeon who administers three shots in my right knee every six months. Both doctors do not recommend surgery because I am just too old. Medicare pays for the steroid shots in my left knee and the shots injected by the Surgeon every six months. My main reason to include this information is to document why are there three and six month intervals. If I have to have the shots sooner Medicare will not pay for them. They cost $550 and $1800 each cycle. The doctors both told me there is no medical reason for the time periods but some bureaucrat in Washington decided that was what it would be. I do get a steroid shot in my right knee after four months as the series of shots never last six months.  

We have no coverage for dentistry work. Just yesterday I paid $210 to have my teeth cleaned and a getting a crown re-cemented in that came off when the hygienist was flossing my old teeth. Our average dental costs are $1500 each year.

Because I do not understand or trust the confusing Federal ograms I still maintain a catastrophic policy I have had for 50 years. It has a $25,000 deductible and cost $636 annually

To save you time our annual costs for healthcare is at least $13,279.00 at this time or $1,106.58 each month. Norma has not been admitted to a hospital since 1965 or 52 years ago. I have not been admitted to a hospital since 2004 or 13 years ago which means nothing for our insurance rates.

I hope those who think Medicare is free and are not government bureaucrats become aware of that planning for those “Golden Years” in advance is difficult.

Our daughter is in business for herself and is required to buy an Obamacare policy or pay a hefty tax penalty. She has not been hospitalized in the past seven years. Her policy premiums are some $800 a month and she has to pay $60 per visit any time she see’s her primary care doctor. She has no dental coverage and her policy has some other restrictions. It has a $6000 deductible clause. If her doctor refers her to a specialists the policy pays nothing until she reaches the $6,000. If the doctor send her to get any testing, X-Rays or lab work the policy pays nothing until the $6,000 deductible is met each year. If a generic drug exists they cost $5.00. If no generic drug exists the co-pay is extremely expensive. Some drugs are not even covered and she pays 100%. In the area she lives there are few choices and they keep disappearing as the insurance companies keep dropping out of the market. To keep her doctor she has been with for 25 years was a nightmare of bureaucratic paperwork.  

Can you imagine a government employee and especially a Congressperson screaming if they had a policy like hers or ours. They don’t have to worry as they are the new “Elite” class of Americans. When my grandchildren ask me what field of work to pursue I tell them either “healthcare” or “Government service”. These are the only fields with benefits as Obama killed benefits from most companies and the 40 hours work week. My son works for one of the largest companies in the world that offers no healthcare or retirement benefits to newly hired employees. Anyone who plans to live on Social Security is mindless. Why has this escaped exposure even from Fox News is scary?

I know a friend who works as hard as anyone I know. He is a maintenance worker and has no benefits. His wife also works and they have three small children. If she covers her husband and their children with her insurance she would have zero take home pay. The consequence is he and the three children must use Medicaid care where illegals have priority.

As the media or any well known journalist or commentator or even a well known Blog writer has never attempted to tell the real stories I will publish your story if desired? Maybe just one person in power in Washington might really understand.

I give up on Congress to help as they just play power games. Other matters are understandably important but to just sweep healthcare under the rug is hurting far too many deserving Americans. When two female Senators and John Mc Cain sank the repeal of Obamacare they betrayed their trust. Women I can understand are concerned about abortions and free birth control pill for even those on welfare. McCain who reversed his last vote, just voted no to punish Trump politically. Every pregnant woman who cares for everyone is still being punished because of these three Senators who hate President Trump. A really sad day for America folks when a “has been” Senator killed all hope to fix our healthcare to just stab Trump in the back. They used to call this Treason but Congress persons do not fear or support our laws they can just ignore them. Washington is broken but who cares? I do, do you? Please share this with every American possible.

C Brewer

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CONGRESS IN ACTION!

This is an old story that this old Quality Professional has enjoyed for many years. I received this from my friend Connie E and decided to share it on the blog. Democrats will scoff it off as they always do and I never expect the Republicans to have the gonads to ever stop this way of governing as they never have. Downhill we go as not enough care anymore. C Brewer

THE STORY OF AMERICAN GOVERNMENT IN ACTION.

Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert.

Congress said, “Someone may steal from it at night.”

So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.

Then Congress said, “How does the watchman do his job without instruction?”

So they created a Planning Department and hired two people, one person to write the instructions, and one person to do time studies.

Then Congress said, “How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?”

So they created a Quality department and hired two people. One was to do the studies and one was to write the reports.

Then Congress said, “How are these people going to get paid?”

So they created two positions: a time keeper and a payroll officer then hired two people.

Then Congress said, “Who will be accountable for all of these people?”

So they created an administrative section and hired three people, an Administrative Officer, Assistant Administrative Officer, and a Legal Secretary.

Then Congress said, “We have had this command in operation for one year and we are $918,000 over budget, we must cut back.”

So they laid-off the night watchman.

NOW slowly, let it sink in.

Quietly, we go like sheep to slaughter. Does anybody remember the reason given for the establishment of the DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY during the Carter administration?

Anybody?

Anything?

No?

Didn’t think so!

Bottom line is, we’ve spent several hundred billion dollars in support of this agency, the reason for which very few people who read this can remember!

Ready??

It was very simple… and at the time, everybody thought it very appropriate.

The Department of Energy was instituted on 8/04/1977, TO LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL.

Hey, pretty efficient, huh???

AND NOW IT’S 2015 — 38 YEARS LATER — AND THE BUDGET FOR THIS “NECESSARY” DEPARTMENT IS AT $24.2 BILLION A YEAR. IT HAS 16,000 FEDERAL EMPLOYEES AND APPROXIMATELY 100,000 CONTRACT EMPLOYEES; AND LOOK AT THE JOB IT HAS DONE!

(THIS IS WHERE YOU SLAP YOUR FOREHEAD AND SAY, “WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?”)

Ah, yes — Good old Federal bureaucracy.

NOW, WE HAVE TURNED OVER THE BANKING SYSTEM, HEALTH CARE, AND THE AUTO INDUSTRY TO THE SAME GOVERNMENT?

Hello!! Anybody Home?

Signed….The Night Watchman

Thanks Connie, this could be repeated for every government activity, agency, department and individual that has been on the government teat since WW II. Its not funny to me. How about you?  CB

EDUCATION TRAIN WRECK-TEXAS STYLE

I posted a letter I received from my State Representative, Wayne Christian, a few days ago. The following is my response to his message. I have also requested a chance to meet face to face and discuss the train wreck Texas is headed for if someone can’t bring common sense into the equation.  C Brewer 

March 25, 2011Wayne Christian, State Representative, Texas District 9

Dear Sir,

Thank you for the time you took to reply to my concerns related to education in Texas. Your response indicates that you have an interest in education.

How much money the state provides to educate our children is the Legislature’s responsibility. How we spend whatever is provided is also the Legislatures responsibility. If taxpayers ignore the way we waste money with expanded administrative programs we deserve the horrible results we have in Texas schools. Texas rankings nationwide related to reading and math scores are totally unacceptable. With all of the money we spend, that your letter emphasizes, why is performance so poor? Surely someone in the bloated Texas Education Agency (TEA) bureaucracy has an answer. They would never respond to me but they should respond to you if you asked!

I take issue with some of your stated facts. The Comptroller may be accurate that the spending for education has nearly doubled in the last ten years. The statement that Texas schools receive nearly $12,000 per pupil funding is not accurate or even close to being correct. It is true that some Texas school districts get that much funding. I actually found 3 school districts, out of 1265, that received over $12,000 per student from the state. Sabine County, in your district where I reside, has three school districts. None of these three received as much as $5,000 per student, why?

It appears you have used data from expenditures in the Comptrollers FAST Report? Those numbers are total expenditures that include capital expenses such as football stadiums, gyms, debt service and what appears to be a myriad of state agencies like the TEA.

One such agency I encourage you to review is the “Regional Education Service Centers” (RESC). The Legislature authorized the State Board of Education (SBOE) to establish this group in 1965. In 1967 the Legislature expanded the RESC role and created 20 separate regional centers. In 1984 the legislature directed the RESC to work closer with the TEA to raise the quality of district programs and enhance uniformity and consistency in school districts operations. In 1992 the SBOE revised the RESC rules to involve annual evaluations of each director’s performance and approve all 20 annual operating budgets. In 1997 the Legislature reauthorized the existence of the RESC’s. It produced a mandate that the RESC’s perform the following services;

*Assist school districts in improving student performance,

*Enable school districts to operate more efficiently and economically,

*Implement initiatives as assigned by the Texas Legislature and the Commissioner of Education.

RESC’s receive state funding and then charge the districts for all services. They are funded by the state from two different sources. Last year the RESC’s had more than $42,000,000.00 in profit. The current budget debate in Austin has proposed to cut the RESC state funding by only $2 million, why? The RESC should be totally eliminated.

Local districts have their own people to do the same functions as the RESC’s. Many of these positions are unnecessary and the majority of the money is expended to comply with a myriad of state unfunded mandates. Why?

Please have your staff evaluate the entire RESC program if you really desire to reduce wasted tax money. In addition to the above fiasco you will discover that the 20 RESC’s employ at least “4,046” non-instructional positions across the state. The number is approximate as many adjunct employees such as custodial staff were not included. I have spent two days trying to discover exactly how many dollars are actually spent by the RESC’s with no success.

It appears that you obtained some misleading figures from the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute (TCCRI)

The Governor placed the blame on the school districts for the administrative growth. What he failed to tell us is that 90% of the growth in administrative personnel was created by the Legislature passing unfunded mandates. The staffing ratios you reference in 1975 compared to today is misleading at best. In 1975 the TEA did not code many non-instructional positions, so people like custodians, bus drivers, school nurses, librarians and cafeteria workers were not included. Also not included is the massive staff required to comply with federal regulations for Special Education students that did not exist in 1975. School districts now have to employ non-instructional positions such as speech therapists, occupational therapists, etc. School districts are also mandated by the state to hire testing coordinators to comply with state testing programs. Like the federal government the Texas Legislature creates these mandates but they have never funded the testing programs, why? 

If you truly wish to help the children of Texas with an education, stop the unbelievable waste of our tax money on these bureaucratic boondoggles.

If can find this many questions in less than 48 hours, your staff should have a field day with the power you have to obtain hidden education waste. If you agree with Governor Perry that the entire problem of educating our children with less money is the responsibility of each School Board, I have wasted a lot of time compiling this message. Senator Nichols did not even acknowledge receipt of my letter and the Governor does not really care. Texas could privatize education, reduce the costs by 50% just eliminating waste, and provide our children a real education. The State Board of Education (SBOE) is as worthless as the U.S. Department of Education by using children as pawns to amass political power. Both of these agencies should be eliminated.

Sincerely yours,

Clyde W. Brewer

Http://cb75948.wordpress.com

Copies to:  State Senator Robert Nichols, Sabine County Reporter, Governor Rick Perry, SBOE, Barbara Cargill   

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